What Are Business Functions?

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Depending on your industry and type of business, you may need to set up various departments within your company. Production, sales, marketing, accounting and research are just a few examples. These business functions will keep your organization running smoothly and maximize its success. Each department will consist of experts who specialize in specific areas, such as data analytics or digital advertising, rather than wearing multiple hats.

The Role of Business Functions

Business functions are processes or operations that ensure the proper functioning of an organization. In general, startups and small companies employ people who can perform several functions rather than hiring specialists. For example, a marketing professional employed by a small creative agency may be responsible for copywriting, content marketing and SEO. As the company grows, its managers will hire experts for each of these activities and set up several business departments.

A corporation, on the other hand, will have specialized departments for each area of activity. Depending on the nature of its business, it may have a design department, a marketing department, a human resources department, a finance department and so on. The specialists in each department are assigned specific jobs and tasks that fall under their area of expertise.

The activities that generate income and drive enterprise value are referred to as core business functions. Maintenance and administrative tasks are not a part of these activities. Let's say you own a small real state agency; in this case, your company's core business functions will include sales and marketing. The c_ore functions_ meaning will differ from one organization to another.

Sales and Marketing

These two business functions are often carried out by the same department. The role of sales and marketing departments is to promote the business and reach out to prospects, potential and existing partners, investors and more. Its end goal is to generate sales and increase brand awareness.

Sales and marketing specialists are responsible for researching the market and your target audience, monitoring the company's image on social media, creating advertising campaigns and acquiring new customers. They may also design brochures and other promotional materials, write website content and reach out to reporters and journalists.

In general, corporations and established companies have separate departments for marketing and sales. The sales department, for example, may be divided into B2C and B2B sales. The marketing department can have several divisions responsible for web design, digital advertising, search engine optimization, customer service and PR.

Human Resources Management

Human resources (HR) management is one of the most important business departments for companies with a large number of employees. HR specialists are responsible for attracting talent, screening potential candidates, managing employee relations and maintaining optimum working conditions.

The HR department also needs to ensure compliance with labor and employment laws, address employee inquiries and solve conflicts. In many organizations, these experts develop training programs for new employees to help them get acquainted with the company's culture and values. Startups and small companies usually don't have a dedicated HR department.

Accounting and Finance

As a small business owner, you may outsource accounting or handle this task on your own. If you plan to hire employees or expand your operations, getting professional help is a must. In this case, it's worth setting up an accounting and finance department.

The business functions of this department include processing tax payments and filing tax returns, invoicing customers, assessing the company's financial performance and keeping track of orders. Your accountant will also be responsible for calculating wages and salaries, recording cash inflows and identifying problem areas.

This list of business processes may also include research and development, information technology (IT) services, distribution and logistics, customer support, manufacturing and more. A web design company, for example, won't need a manufacturing department. A factory or a clothing brand, on the other hand, will invest heavily in this area. As a business owner, it's up to you to decide how to structure your organization to achieve peak performance and function optimally.

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About the Author

Andra Picincu is a digital marketing consultant with over 10 years of experience. She works closely with small businesses and large organizations alike to help them grow and increase brand awareness. She holds a BA in Marketing and International Business and a BA in Psychology. Over the past decade, she has turned her passion for marketing and writing into a successful business with an international audience. Current and former clients include The HOTH, Bisnode Sverige, Nutracelle, CLICK - The Coffee Lover's Protein Drink, InstaCuppa, Marketgoo, GoHarvey, Internet Brands, and more. In her daily life, Ms. Picincu provides digital marketing consulting and copywriting services. Her goal is to help businesses understand and reach their target audience in new, creative ways.

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